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W&L boys win NN cross country championship

Washington & Lee High School hosted the Northern Neck District meet last Thursday on an unusually warm October day.  Chandlers’ course, which is known for its hills and its variety of scenic views, took on 2 inches of rain the night before.
“Our course could take the rain, but we were more concerned with our hills and the bridge, especially by the third race,” Lady Eagles coach Cindy Flickinger said.  Their were three races: Developmental, girls varsity and boys varsity.

The first race saw W&L boys and girls dominate the developmental part.  W&L boys went 1, 2, 3 and 4 with Brandon Deel, Zach Bowen, Jacob Daiger and Chrisitan Deel coming in that order. Kathryn Beddoo and Emma Oliver were in the top three for the girls with Anna Sisson not far behind.
“When we saw the places coming in it was exciting, but when we saw the times it was an indicator that the course was slow, we knew that the heat was having a detrimental effect on our runners,” Eagles boys coach Cole Vanover said.
The girls race, which included three of the top five finishers from last year’s district meet was expected to come down to the wire.  Lancaster, however, dominated the race, putting three in the top five and five in the top 12.  Lancaster’s Whitney Spence took first place and she was followed by her teammate Emma Hand.  W&L senior Sarah Sisson took third place with sophomore Lidia Cardenas finishing fourth.  W&L sophomores Rachel Pegalow took 10th, Natalie Carpenter 14th and Taylor Lewis finished 15th overall.  
“Taylor, Natalie and Rachel both had gutsy performances, especially Taylor who just started running again this week after a two-month layoff,” Flickinger said.  The girls surprised Essex by 8 points to finish second.  
The anticipation of the boys race, which has been on the seniors’ minds all year, was finally about the happen.
“We have picked up a runner-up trophy three straight years,” senior captain Cullen Oliver said. ‘We made it a point to not let it happen this year.”
Northumberland’s Mischa Turner, who is being looked at by VCU set a course record in a time of 17:22.  Washington & Lee boys, however, took second, third and fourth, with the three seniors. Oliver took second, followed by Luis Lopez and Cale Coryell.
“Once Luis finished, he clinched his fist together because he knew he had done his job,” Vanover said.
Freshman Moses Oviedo took eighth and Sophomore Emmanuel Valdez took ninth.  Sophomores Hudson Hutt and Daniel Valdez took 13th and 14th.   The Eagle boys scored 26 points followed by Lancaster with 48.
“They did their job,” Vanover said. “You look at the body of work that they put together — the race that Cale Coryell had, his last 600 meters to pass two Lancaster guys, Emmanuel Valdez flat out ran his heart out after falling a mile into it and still finished ninth — we are proud of their accomplishments, now it’s on to Regionals.”
The boys and girls race tomorrow at Eastern State Hospital, the home course of William & Mary.  Mathews boys and girls are heavy favorites.  W&L boys had seven All-District runners, the girls had five.  The Eagles also had nine All-Academic athletes.    

Cole Vanover

 

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